A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Chicago vs. Denver for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Chicago or Denver?

Which city is more affordable and which is best for your travel style? If you're trying to figure out where to go next, comparing the travel costs between Chicago and Denver can help you decide which place is right for you.

Chicago

Located in the Midwest, Chicago is the third largest city in the United States. It has a population of almost 3 million and a metropolitan area that covers more than 10,000 square kilometers. It is also a hub for music, comedy and theater. It's skyline is beautiful with modern skyscrapers and Lake Michigan as a backdrop. It is easy to stay entertained in Chicago for weeks. There are world class museums, upscale or eclectic shopping opportunities, and impressive architecture.

Denver

The capital of Colorado, Denver is commonly referred to as "The Mile-High City" because it is at an elevation of 5,280 feet (1,600 meters) above sea level. It also sits where the Great Plains meet the Rocky Mountains, giving a beautiful backdrop for this metropolitan city. The city is the largest in the Rocky Mountains with a population of more than 600,000 and nearly 3 million in the metropolitan area. Denver is a cosmopolitan city with cowboy roots. It's cultural scene is thriving, and the outdoor recreation in the area is superb. Denver is a rapidly growing city but with change comes challenges. Urban sprawl is a problem and the city's infrastructure has reached its limits. Still, efforts are in place to maintain the character and personality that Denver is known for.

Which city is cheaper, Denver or Chicago?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Chicago is $221, while the average daily cost in Denver is $174. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each city. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for Chicago and Denver in more detail.



Accommodation

Chicago's average price for two people sharing a typical double-occupancy hotel room is $304. A typical place to stay for one person, per day is $152.

A hotel room in Denver is about $138 This assumes double occupancy and modest accommodations.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Chicago $152
    Denver $69
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Chicago $304
    Denver $138

Food

The price of a meal in Chicago can vary widely. However, the average price for food per day is $37 per person, and a typical meal will cost around $15 based on the spending of previous visitors. Less expensive dining options can be found by eating street food or at fast food restaurants.

The price of a meal in Denver can vary widely. However, the average price for food per day is $34 per person, and a typical meal will cost around $14 based on the spending of previous visitors. Less expensive dining options can be found by eating street food or at fast food restaurants.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Chicago $37
    Denver $34
Typical Food prices in Chicago

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Chicago:


  • Dinner for 1
    $24
  • Dinner for 3
    $118

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Chicago

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Chicago.

  • Traveling Spoon Chicago-Style Deep Dish Pizza Private Online Cooking Class: $27
  • Factories to Calories Fulton Market Food Tour: $46
  • Learn to Make Chicago Deep-Dish Pizza with a Local: $49
  • Chicago Crime & Pizza Walk: $50
  • Lonely Planet Experiences: Chicago History and Food Tour: $59
  • Lonely Planet Experiences: River North Historical Food Tour: $61
  • Signature Food Tour at Chicago's Navy Pier: $64
  • Best in Chow: Chicago River North Food Tour: $64
  • Private Fusion Cooking Class in Downtown Chicago: $64
  • Skip the Line: Tommy Gun's Garage Dinner and Show Ticket: $67
  • Small-Group Chicago Food Tour: Gold Coast and Old Town: $75
  • Best of Chicago Tour Including a Deep-Dish Pizza: $75

Typical Food prices in Denver

Some typical examples of dining costs in Denver are as follows:


  • Sushi Dinner (for 2)
    $61

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Denver

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Denver.

  • Small-Group Food Tour in Denver: $69
  • Haunted Denver Walking Food Tour: $73
  • The Dinner Detective Murder Mystery Dinner Show - Denver: $77
  • Walking Food Tour - Best of Union Station & LoDo: $79
  • Denver Cooking Classes-Local, seasonal, and hands on menus: $97

Local Transportation

While taxis and private drivers typically cost much more than public transportation, people usually spend around $29 per day to get around in Chicago.

The average price of local transportation around Denver is $81 per person, per day. As this average includes both taxis and public transport, keep in mind that the prices of private drivers and taxis are significantly more expensive than public transportation.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Chicago $29
    Denver $81
Typical Local Transportation prices in Chicago

Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Chicago:


  • Parking
    $19
  • Taxi Ride
    $10
  • Taxi from Airport
    $45

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Chicago

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Chicago:

  • Midway Airport Shared Transfers: $36
  • Private Airport Transfer: O’Hare International Airport (ORD) to Chicago: $43
  • Private Airport Transfer: from Chicago to O’Hare International Airport (ORD): $43
  • Chicago O'Hare International Airport Shared Transfer: $44
  • Private Airport Transfer: from Chicago to Midway International Airport (MDW): $55
  • Private Airport Transfer: Midway International Airport (MDW) to Chicago: $55
  • Private Departure Transfer from Chicago City to Midway International Airport: $66
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Chicago Midway Airport to Chicago City: $66
  • Private Departure Transfer from Chicago City to O'Hare International Airport: $78
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Chicago O'Hare Airport to Chicago City: $78
  • Departure Private Transfer Chicago City to O'Hare Airport ORD by Sedan Car: $79
  • Arrival Private Transfer Chicago O'Hare Airport ORD to Chicago by Sedan Car: $79

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Denver

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Denver:

  • Arrival Private Transfer Denver Airport DEN to Denver City by Luxury Car: $117
  • Arrival Private Transfer Denver Airport DEN to Denver City by Minibus: $217
  • Arrival Private Transfer Denver Airport DEN to Denver City by SUV: $142
  • Arrival Private Transfers from Denver Airport DEN to Denver in Business Car: $109
  • Arrival Private Transfers from Denver Airport DEN to Denver in Luxury Van: $130
  • Aspen: Private Transfer to or from Denver Airport: $1,279
  • Denver Airport (DEN) to Aspen hotel or address - Arrival Private Transfer: $796
  • Denver Airport (DEN) to Aspen hotel or address - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $1,592
  • Denver Airport (DEN) to Avon/Vail Valley - Arrival Private Transfer: $429
  • Denver Airport (DEN) to Avon/Vail Valley - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $858
  • Denver Airport (DEN) to Breckenridge - Arrival Private Transfer: $404
  • Denver Airport (DEN) to Breckenridge - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $809

Is it cheaper to fly into Chicago or Denver?

Prices for flights to both Denver and Chicago change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Entertainment

Activities, things to do, and other forms of entertainment usually cost around $34 per person, per day in Chicago. This cost includes the price of admission tickets to attractions and museums as well as daily tours.

Denver's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $42 per person, per day. This cost can vary widely by the type of activity, however, as this includes admission tickets, day tours, museums, and other things to do.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Chicago $34
    Denver $42
Typical Entertainment prices in Chicago

Here are a few typical costs in Chicago for activities, ticket prices, and tours that come from previous visitors:


  • Sears Tower (family of 4)
    $102
  • Aquarium for 4
    $118
  • Water Taxi (family of 4)
    $22
  • IMAX Movie for Two
    $35
  • Shakespeare Play (2)
    $116
  • Art Institute (2)
    $36
  • U-Boat Tour (2)
    $8.00

Tours and Activities in Chicago

Here are a few actual costs in Chicago for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • A Storied Neighborhood: Dance the dialectic with Bill Ayers on an audio tour: $5.00
  • Discovering Vintage The Loop Walking Audio Tour by VoiceMap: $5.34
  • Chicago Riverwalk Self-Guided Walking Tour: $6.00
  • Millennium Park Exploration Game & Self-Guided Tour: $12
  • Skip the Line: American Writers Museum Admission Ticket: $14
  • Pilsen Walking Tour of Local Publicly Displayed Art: $15
  • The Chicago Theatre Marquee Tour: $18
  • Behind-the-Scenes Tour of Historic Chicago Theatre: $18
  • Chicago Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $21
  • Chicago Skydeck Experience Ticket: $22
  • Ghosts of Lincoln Park Walking Tour: $22
  • Best Architecture Walking Tour for Design Lovers: $22

Tours and Activities in Denver

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Denver are as follows:

  • Spokes and Scoops: Explore Denver's top ice cream spots on an audio bicycle tour: $5.20
  • Denver Ghost Hunt: Mile High Ghost Tour: $12
  • Virtual Reality Experiences for Everyone: $21
  • Denver Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $21
  • Haunted Walking Ghost Tour: $21
  • Twilight Ghost Tour: $22
  • Best of Denver Tour: $22
  • Capitol Hill History & Ghost Tour: $22
  • Denver Ghost Tour: $23
  • 1.5 Hour LoDo Walking Tour in Denver: $25
  • Customized Guided Tour: $30
  • Moscow Mule Experience: $32

Alcohol

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Chicago may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $20 per day on alcoholic beverages.

The average person spends about $4.25 on alcoholic beverages in Denver per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Chicago $20
    Denver $4.25

Sample the Local Flavors in Chicago

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Chicago:

  • Haunted Chicago Ghost and Pub Walking Tour: $25
  • Walking tour to Chicago dive bars: $41
  • Chicago Barrel Bus Craft Distillery Tour: $90
  • Chicago Craft Brewery Barrel Bus Tour: $90
  • Ultimate Girl's Night Out in Sparkling Wine, Photo Shoot, Burlesque: $900

Sample the Local Flavors in Denver

Also in Denver, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Haunted Denver Ghost and Pub Walking Tour in Lower Downtown: $26
  • Haunted Denver Ghost and Pub Walking Tour - South Broadway (SoBo): $27
  • 3-Hour Brewery Walking Tour: $49
  • Craft Distillery Bus Tour: $71


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Chicago and Denver, we can see that Chicago is more expensive. And not only is Denver much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Denver would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Denver and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Chicago would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Chicago than you might in Denver.

Budget Your Trip

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Chicago vs. Denver Travel Comparison

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